World Boxing Organization (WBO) has stripped of the Welterweight World title 2015 won by Floyd Mayweather in May 2015. Decision in this regard was taken by WBO after Mayweather failed to pay the 200,000 dollar sanctioning fee to WBO prior to the deadline of 3 July 2015. As per WBO rules, boxers are required to pay 3 per cent of their purse to fight for a world title which at maximum accounts for 200,000 dollars. The rules also prohibit WBO champions to hold any belts in any other weight divisions.
Mayweather had won the Welterweight World title 2015 on May 2, 2015 by defeating Manny Pacquiao of Philippines in Las Vegas. This fight was the richest of all time as it had earned around record 220 million dollars. At present, Mayweather is also the WBC and WBA champion at junior middleweight (154 lbs), as well as at welterweight (147 lbs).
Eminent Ecologist Kamal Bawa has been elected as Fellow to the London based prestigious Royal Society. He was chosen in recognition of his pioneering contributions in the field of conservation science. With this, he joins former and current eminent fellows of Royal Society such as Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Stephen Hawking etc.
Bawa is India’s most prominent biologist and an evolutionary ecologist. He is a professor of Biology at the prestigious of Massachusetts University of Boston, US. He is the founder President of Bengaluru based Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE). For his contribution to environmental research he has been bestowed with Midori Prize for Biodiversity (2014), Gunnerus Award in Sustainability Science (2012).
Established: in 1660. It is one of oldest society still in existence for science.
Headquartered: London. Recognises and promotes excellence in science for the benefit of humanity. It is a self-governing Fellowship of many of the world’s most distinguished scientists drawn from all areas of science, medicine and engineering.
Japan’s Meiji-era (1868-1912) industrial revolution sites have received World Cultural Heritage status from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Decision in this regard was taken during the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee chaired by Maria Bohmer in Bonn, Germany.
With this inclusion, the total Cultural sites with UNESCO World Heritage Status in Japan have increased to 15 along with 4 natural sites.
Location: Southwest of Japan Includes series of eleven properties that comprises Iron and Steel, coalmines and shipyards industries.
Contributed in Japan’s evolution from feudalism to a successful industrialised modern economy. Trace the development phase of Japan’s heavy industries and its integration to Western technology along with fundamental changes in its traditional culture.
Represents the first successful transfer of Western industrialization to a non-Western nation in 19th century.
This status granted to a places of cultural and natural significance by the UNESCO. The list of these heritage sites is part of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World’s Cultural and Natural Heritage which was adopted by the UNESCO’s General Conference in 1972.
India and Uzbekistan have inked pacts to boost cooperation between their foreign offices and in the field of culture and tourism. The agreements were signed after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart Islam Karimov, Uzbekistan President had talks on key bilateral and regional issues. This visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was part of his first leg of strategic tour to 5 Central Asian countries (Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan) and Russia.
The Supreme Court of India on 7 July 2015 issued notices to the Union Government, Election Commission (EC) and six political parties and asked why it should not be brought within Right to Information (RTI) ambit to make them more accountable to public.
The six national parties involved are Indian National Congress (INC), Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), Communist Party of India (M), Communist Party of India (CPI), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP). The notice was issued by a three-judge bench of Chief Justice HL Dattu, Justice Arun Kumar Mishra and Justice Amitava Roy on a PIL filed by NGO Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR). The petitioner in the plea filed in May 2015 demanded to declare all national and regional political parties as public authorities and bring them under the ambit of RTI Act, 2005.
Further, the petitioner sought transparency and accountability in functioning of political parties. It also sought a direction that the parties should be asked to declare all donations, including those below 20000 rupees.
The Central Information Commission (CIC) in its detailed order of 3 June 2013 held that the six national parties have been substantially financed by the Central government, therefore, they are held to be public authorities under Section 2(h) of the RTI Act. Also the critical role these political parties played in Indian democratic set-up and the nature of duties performed by them point towards their public character.
The issue of notice by the apex court to all the stakeholders involved infuses oxygen into the dead case wherein even CIC in March 2015 expressed its inability to impose any action against the erring political parties. In its March 2015 circular, the CIC expressing its inability had called for identifying the legal gaps and lacunae in the implementation mechanism as current provision under the RTI Act, 2005 do not allow for action for non-compliance.
Nine-dash line was in news as the International Criminal Court (ICC) on 7 July 2015 began hearing a case brought by the Philippines against China on territorial claims in the South China Sea. The nine-dash line also known as U-shaped line refers to the demarcation line which was initially used by China for their claims of the major port of the South China Sea (SCS). Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei claim that they have been bisected by China’s nine-dash line.
This is the first time that the disputed South China Sea came under international legal scrutiny, despite Beijing officially refusing to take part in the case. Philippines filed the case against China in 2013. The ICC will determine who has property rights over a 200-nautical-mile Exclusive Economic Zone. In past few years, China has created seven artificial islands especially in the Spratly archipelago, giving rise to tensions in the contested waters. The contested area in the SCS includes the Paracel Islands, the Spratly Islands, and various other areas including the Pratas Islands, the Macclesfield Bank and the Scarborough Shoal. The claim encompasses the area of Chinese land reclamation known as the “great wall of sand”.
Earlier on 1 December 1947, China published a U-shaped eleven-dotted line map. Later it removed, two dots in the Gulf of Tonkin at the behest of Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, reducing the total to nine. Subsequent editions added dashes to the other end of the line, extending it into the East China Sea. Despite having made the vague claim public in 1947, China is still (as of 2015) to file a formal and specifically defined claim to the area within the dashes.
China on 30 June 2015 submitted its new climate action plan to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The plan delineates China’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) paving the way for ratification of a post-2020 universal climate change agreement which will be reached at the UN climate conference in Paris, in December 2015.
So far, including China, 43 parties to the UNFCCC, out of 192 member countries, have formally submitted their INDCs.
Presidents of the United States of America and Brazil Barack Obama and Dilma Dilma Rousseff respectively on 30 June 2015 issued a joint statement on climate change in Washington, the USA. The joint statement includes individual commitments towards reducing green house gas (GHG) emissions and bilateral mechanisms to protect the planet from the adverse effects of climate change.
The targets announced by both the countries assume significance as the USA and Brazil are the second and the seventh top GHG emitters respectively.
Earlier, similar to the present statement, the USA and China reached an agreement in November 2014, Brazil and China issued a joint climate statement in May 2015, the EU and China issued a joint statement on climate change in June 2015 delineating the road map for coordinated action in the Conference of Parties (COP)-21 to be held in Paris in December 2015. In the COP-21, a new protocol is expected to be ratified by the parties to the UNFCC that will replace the existing Kyoto Protocol in 2021.
Cities and regions in the first week of July 2015 committed to cut 1.5 billion tons in CO2 emissions at the World Summit Climate & Territories held in Lyon, France. A declaration statement in this regard was signed by 50 organizations of local and regional authorities as well as civil society groups including 20 sub national governments.
These 20 sub national governments include regions in South America (Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo), North America (California, New York, Ontario), Europe (Basque Country, Catalonia, Scotland) and Australia representing more than 220 million people and 8.3 trillion US dollars in gross domestic product. The commitments to cut CO2 emissions by regional and local actors were part of the Compact of States and Regions announced in Lyon, France in 2014. All such pledges will now be fed into a centralized platform overseen by the United Nations for the purpose of collecting these actions by entities outside of central governments, the Non-State Actor Zone for Climate Action.
The summit was a premier gathering of non-state actors- local authorities, business groups and civil society — ahead of the major climate negotiations slated to take place from 30 November to 11 December 2015 in Paris.
Around 800 representatives of local authorities and NGOs from more than 80 countries participated in the summit.
Book 37 Bridges and Other Stories authored by a noted Pakistani author Aamer Hussein book is a new collection of his stories. The book was released on 15 March 2015. The author through the book highlights the matter of identity with respect to both the Hindu and Muslim. Further, the book identifies itself with Hussein’s identity who is a British citizen born to a Pakistani father and an Indian mother both of whom later settled in Britain.
Aamer Hussein born 8 April 1955 in Karachi is a Pakistani short story writer and critic. He started publishing fiction in the 1980s in journals and anthologies. His collection of stories includes Mirror to the Sun (1993), This Other Salt (1999), Turquoise (2002), Cactus Town (2003) and Insomnia (2007).
He has also published a novella and a novel and they are Another Gulmohar Tree (2009) and The Cloud Messenger (2011) respectively. His stories have been translated into many languages, including Italian, Arabic and Japanese.
Former Finance Minster of China Jin Liqun was in news as on 6 July 2015 he was nominated by China to be the first president of the Beijing-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). At present, Jin (65) is Secretary General of AIIB’s interim secretariat. Earlier, he has held positions at the World Bank and was the first Chinese national to serve as a vice president at the Japan-controlled Asian Development Bank (ADB).
During his 5-year-long tenure at ADB, Jin headed its programmes for South, Central and West Asia and private sector operations. Before joining AIIB in 2014, Jin was chairman of China International Capital Corporation, one of the mainland’s largest investment banks. He holds a master’s degree in English Literature from the Beijing Foreign Studies University and was a Hubert Humphrey Fellow in Boston University’s economics graduate programme.
In accordance with the Articles of Agreement signed by 50 countries on 29 June 2015, the President of AIIB shall be elected through an open, transparent and merit-based process by the Board of Governors. The president should be a national of a regional member. The term of office of the president will be five years, and a president can be re-elected once.
The nominations for the post of president can be sent by the regional members by 31 July 2015 and the name of the president-designate will be finalised at the 6th Chief Negotiators’ Meeting of the AIIB founding members in August 2015.
President Pranab Mukherjee on 6 July 2015 inaugurated Nakshatra Vatika at his official Rashtrapati Nilayam Gardens in Bolarum, Secunderabad. The vatika (garden) has plants representing planets, zodiac signs and stars. The layout of ‘Nakshatra Vatika’ has been developed in various geometrical combinations corresponding to the Sree Chakra of Vedic astrology on a 0.91 acre plot.
The Nakshatra Vatika will be the second specialised garden within the complex of Nilayam Garden, which already has a Herbal Garden into it. The Garden will be open to public along with other gardens of Nilayam in the first week of January 2016.
Union Minister for Communication and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad on 6 July 2015 launched four world-class broadband products developed by the C-DOT in New Delhi. They are- Long Distance Wi-Fi, Solar powered Wi-Fi, Suteerva and Next Generation Network (NGN).
C-DOT stands for Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT) and is an Indian Government owned telecommunications technology development centre. The products were launched under the Digital India Programme that was launched in August 2014 in order to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
Wi-Fi products: Long Distance Wi-Fi and Solar powered Wi-Fi address the connectivity problem of rural areas, hilly terrain, highways, dense vegetation, tunnels etc. They are also suited for green field projects like smart cities, areas where there is little/no grid supply, emergency situations, Disaster Management Networks etc.
C-DOT also developed a light weight Green Power Source to make these products self-sustainable. Using this solution, reach of BharatNet can be increased beyond Panchayats to the remotest part of country.
SUTEERVA: It’s a 100 Gbps Optical Fiber Cable (OFC) link system that addresses the telco’s requirement of optimizing communication transport backbone in smart cities, IT parks, Industrial Complexes, Inter City Traffic, Data Centres etc. It offers ease of deployment, lesser shell space and lower power consumption, and saves on the high cost of laying fiber for each individual user. Further, SUTEEVRA is capable of serving multiple applications and protocols ranging from the Data, Storage, TDM and Video networks.
Next Generation Network (NGN): It is an advanced Internet Protocol (IP) based network which is designed to replace existing TDM network in BSNL and MTNL. It provides a centralized remote control to the operators to manage the exchanges thereby providing better services to the end subscribers.
Besides, there are considerable savings in the power consumptions with the introduction of the much smaller and low power consuming equipment.
Maldives on 1 July 2015 submitted its instrument of acceptance of the Doha amendment to the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). The Doha amendment was agreed in the Qatari capital in 2012 by all the members of the UNFCC. So far, 35 Parties have accepted the extension and 144 (3/4 of 192) parties are required to bring the Kyoto Protocol Extension into force.
The extension to the protocol became necessary against the backdrop of pending negotiations on replacement to the Kyoto Protocol that is set to be finalized in 2015 and come into force in 2021. The Kyoto Protocol (KP) was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February 2005. The detailed rules for the implementation of the Protocol were adopted at Conference of Parties (COP) 7 in Marrakesh, Morocco, in 2001, and are referred to as the Marrakesh Accords. It was based on the common but differentiated responsibilities principle and first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012.
In Doha on 8 December 2012, the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol was adopted by the members of the UNFCC. The amendment includes:
37 industrialized countries and the European Community committed to reduce GHG emissions to an average of five percent against 1990 levels in the first commitment period between 2008 and 2012. During the second commitment period, Parties committed to reduce GHG emissions by at least 18 percent below 1990 levels in the eight-year period from 2013 to 2020; however, the composition of Parties in the second commitment period is different from the first.
In Durban in 2011, the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) was established to develop a protocol, another legal instrument under the UNFCC, applicable to all Parties of the UNFCC.
The future protocol will be based on the principle of Intended Nationally determined Contributions (INDCs) under which countries will publicly outline what post-2020 climate actions they intend to take. The new protocol is expected to be ratified by the COP-21 in Paris in December 2015 in order to bring it into force in 2021.
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